Executives balance these three things simultaneously, at year-end:
- Ensuring results for this year,
- Planning strategy for next year, and
- Creating a budget, hopefully, based on that strategy to which all executives commit.
Too often, strategy development gets rushed at year-end, lacks innovation, or it does not happen until after a budget is hacked out. Critical conversations are avoided as executives pretend that the elephant in the room is not there. Little if any focus is put on the dysfunctional team dynamic that is contributing to the entire process being ineffective. As a result, executives don’t align with the strategy, budget or next year’s targets, and demand/professed “buy-in” is inauthentic at best. Executives lack confidence in the team and the company starts the new year with a handicap.
Executive team dynamics that allowed this to happen before have again contaminated the planning process, creating a relatively weak foundation for next year. Does this sound like your company?
- A strongly aligned and effective executive team will develop a more innovative strategy and a better budget that will be a stronger foundation for next year’s successful execution and results.
- A dysfunctional executive team dynamic creates a weaker strategy and a budget that executives don’t believe in or commit to.
- If you don’t adequately address executive team dysfunction before planning, the impact will be significant and will negatively and immediately impact results!!
- One of the most important and timely decisions a CEO must make now is whether or not to dramatically improve executive team dynamics as part of planning for next year.
Assessing Your Executive Team
Take a minute to consider these six questions and to assess your executive team.
(Short Version — Our proprietary team executive team assessment covers 20 elements of high performance teams):
- Is the company consistently meeting or exceeding its objectives? | Y | N | Unsure |
- Are all executives sufficiently committed to the same compelling and bold vision, strategy, plans, and goals? | Y | N | Unsure |
- Are team members more focused on their own departmental goals to the detriment of their commitment to the top-level corporate objectives? | Y | N | Unsure |
- Can all executives consistently expose the elephants in the room? | Y | N | Unsure |
- Can the team discuss the most difficult issues and bring them to resolution, decision, and follow through? | Y | N | Unsure |
- Does the team and its members consistently do what they promise and deliver promised results? | Y | N | Unsure |
If you can’t confidently answer, “yes” to all of these questions, then the executive team’s dynamics are negatively impacting your planning process and results and, so take action now.
Address executive team dynamics before, or if you’ve already begun, along with the strategic planning and budget process this year. Here’s why:
- It can be much faster and easier than most executives realize.
- It allows executives to uncover and address performance issues and organizational and strategic concerns at the same time.
- It allows for a better strategy and budget.
- It will have an immediate and profound impact on innovation and performance this year and create a significantly stronger foundation for next year.
Don’t let executive team dynamics contaminate the planning process or weaken results next year.
Instead, address dysfunctional team dynamics before and during the annual planning process so you can ensure alignment with the best strategy and budget possible. Doing so now will prepare the team for success so the company can hit the ground running next year and you will have a stronger foundation for execution – better results.
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Matthew Levy is the Chief Catalyst and principal of RESULTS MANAGEMENT GROUP, LLC, a growth management consulting and executive coaching firm that dramatically shifts business results by: facilitating the creation of compelling visions and strategies, aligning executive and other management teams, developing an organizational capacity to manage execution and designing organizational environments and family business governance that support the attainment of dramatically better results in any area.